One of the homemaking skills I am working on with our daughters is the ability to set a nice table – both functionally and beautifully. In the day and age where dinner is done in a dash, and paper plates are the name of the game, there is just something about real plates, silverware and cloth napkins that not only makes mealtime memorable, but sets the tone for a welcoming home.

A tip I encourage in my frugal living workshop is to try and go with less paper products. I teeter back and forth on my own advise during football season, but right now, we are putting our well water to good use.

I have always loved Emily Post’s acrostic reminder for how to set a basic table.

Remember FORKS

F-fork, O-plate (the shape), K-Knife, and S- Spoon (yes, for you type A friends, you must just forget the R). 😉 I also love to remember that the blade of the knife points towards the fork because it’s protecting the spoon.

Basic Place Setting – Description and diagram

I’ll leave the formal settings for a day when I actually partake in a formal dinner. 🙂

I had great hopes of doing some special napkin folds, but ran out of time (that’s going to be another Tasty Tuesday post). Instead, I sent my son out to cut some daffodils, and the effect was just as grand.
Centerpieces can be elegant and fancy, fun and festive, simple, yet beautiful or a combination of all three.
Based on what I found when I “shopped my house,” I went with simple, yet beautiful. I used some of the yard sale fabric that I was given free as my “runner.” My newly spray painted tea tray served as the perfect base for my candle holder, which sat on top of one of my yard sale dishes. Blooming daffodils from my yard adorned the white vases I bought for a quarter.
My girls love getting creative and thinking of unique things to do (which typically involves many, many candles.) I was thrilled to pull all these things together quickly and simply.

I layered my daily white plates with the turquoise Mikasa set that I bought for a steal at a yard sale. When I purchased the complete set (with all the additional serving pieces) which serves eight, it was a want, not a need. But this $20 “entertainment” purchase has given me such delight by mixing and matching with my dinner table and decorating.
Instead of using the glass water goblets that I typically use for entertaining, I stuck with the new milk glasses that I bought for $5/set. It kept the clean, yet casual, brunch atmosphere that I was desiring.
I love how it truly is the little things that are the big things.

So after you have conquered the “candlelight challenge – creating ambiance, try setting your table and see what fun you can have. It’s another simple way to make meal times memorable without having to spend a lot of money or stress over a lot of time.


And just so you know what my true beauty and bedlam table really looked like…this is reality. I wasn’t about to unhook the whole computer just for brunch, so on the buffet it went. 🙂
I just love seeing all of your inspirations every week. So what have you been up to in the kitchen?

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